More than just education is lost with school dropouts - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

More than just education is lost with school dropouts

By Len Kiese - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A new report shows high school dropouts cost Georgia billions of dollars in lost income which hurts the economy and limits state revenue.

The Alliance for Excellent Education says if students who dropped out just last school year would have graduated, the state would have benefited from an additional $16.7 billion in income over their lifetime.

Dropouts tend to earn less and are more likely to be unemployed according to the Alliance. The Dougherty County School System is reducing the dropout rate.

It went from 4.6-percent in 2008 to 3.1-percent last school year.  School leaders credit a variety of measures.  Some administrators took more of a proactive approach last year.

"Every administrator had a list of students in a room that they were watching person by person and they would meet with them with great regularity to make sure they were meeting their requirements they needed for graduation last year," said Dougherty County School System Public Information Officer R.D. Harter.

The school system says offering credit recovery for students through programs such as Saturday school helps out. The unemployment rate for Georgia high school dropouts is more than three times higher than the rate for college graduates.

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